Almost 1 in 3 people suffer from anxiety in their lifetime.
That’s according to NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health), who estimate that 31.1% of American adults will experience anxiety disorders at some time throughout their lives.
Those are scary numbers. Anxiety disorders can be exceptionally debilitating.
Current treatments tend to involve medication, short-term therapy, or some combination of the two. But unfortunately, these options are far from 100% effective.
Your meds might not work, or they might give you nasty side effects. Maybe you’re just against big pharma. Or perhaps your therapy is proving ineffective, too expensive, or far too short.
Whatever the reason, a growing number of people are searching for other forms of anxiety treatment to relieve their symptoms.
CBD oil is one such natural alternative that’s showing hopeful signs in scientific studies. But does CBD oil really work for anxiety?
Keep reading to find out.
What is CBD Oil?
To help you understand this important product, let’s go through some rapid-fire CBD facts.
- CBD is short for cannabidiol.
- Cannabidiol is a compound that you can take from cannabis plants.
- CBD oil is just this extract being used in oil form.
- CBD is a particular type of cannabinoid.
- Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemicals in marijuana and hemp plants.
- You’ve probably heard of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is also a cannabinoid.
- But THC gets you high. Importantly, CBD does not. This is because legal CBD is derived from hemp.
- Many people argue for the health benefits of CBD oil.
- A growing body of evidence that suggests CBD oil can reduce symptoms of anxiety.
How Does CBD Oil Work to Relieve Anxiety?
CBD oil is packed with cannabinoids.
And though the exact processes are unclear, it’s thought that the oil works to relieve anxiety when these cannabinoids bind to specialized brain receptors, known as CB(1).
We won’t bore you with technicalities, but receptors are tiny proteins on your brain cells that bind and react to the chemicals released in the brain.
Somewhere down the line, this seems to reduce anxiety! Serotonin is believed to play an important role in these results. Serotonin is a brain chemical that’s involved in various functions in the brain.
Depression, for instance, is known to involve a lack of serotonin.
And anxiety can be caused by the same issue.
Does CBD Oil Really Work for Anxiety?
Well, according to a growing body of evidence, the answer’s yes!
For instance, a study in 2010 found that CBD oil reduced symptoms of social anxiety in sufferers of social anxiety disorder. Participants felt significantly better having taken CBD. And even the way their brains responded to anxiety changed.
There’s evidence from other studies too. In one experiment people were asked to do some public speaking. Taking CBD led to significantly less anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder.
And there were interesting conclusions from a comprehensive study of the effectiveness of CBD on psychiatric illnesses. The authors found inconclusive results overall but noted the positive effects it had on anxiety disorders.
Question Marks Around CBD Oil and Anxiety
We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves though.
It’s true that evidence from preliminary scientific studies (on animals and humans) suggests CBD oil is an effective treatment for anxiety.
But the research is really in its infancy. We need more studies to be conducted in order to say with absolute certainty that CBD oil’s as good as it seems.
Equally, its long-term effects on anxiety and the impact of prolonged treatment over time are unknown.
All in all, more research is needed to fully assess the situation.
How Do You Take CBD Oil?
If you decide to take CBD oil you can get it into your system in different ways.
The easiest method is to simply ingest it. These days you can find the oil in the form of candy, capsules, or in other food and drinks.
If you have the oil in pure form, or as tinctures, you can also put it under your tongue to administer sublingually. It comes in creams and lotions to be used topically too. However, it won’t enter your bloodstream this way.
It’s also possible to inhale CBD oil, where vaping is especially popular.
Things to Consider Before Taking CBD Oil
There are a few other things to consider before taking CBD.
Firstly, CBD does contain traces of THC. It isn’t enough to get you high, but it may well show up on urine tests. This can have serious implications in various realms of work and life.
Next, the legality of CBD remains a point of contention. CBD isn’t listed on in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), meaning hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states.
But you can derive CBD from marijuana plants too. Marijuana-derived CBD is not legal in all states as it’s treated in law in the same way as marijuana. Other states have CBD-specific laws.
And finally, because CBD isn’t a regulated treatment for anxiety, the dosages required remain unclear.
Always consult a Doctor with CBD experience prior to taking it!
Time to Sum up & Hand over to You
Anxiety is an increasingly prevalent burden in the United States.
But a growing body of recent scientific evidence suggests that CBD oil could be an effective and natural treatment to relieve the symptoms of it.
This cannabis plant extract is rich in cannabinoids that interact with your brain without giving you the high that’s associated with marijuana. You can even make it yourself!
In terms of legality and clinical effectiveness, it remains contentious though. And, ultimately, more research must be conducted to assess the true benefits and risks.
Be sure to ask your Doctor if you’re at all unsure about using CBD oil to help your anxiety.
Now we’d love to hear from you!
What’s the main reason you’re interested in CBD oil? Are other treatments proving ineffective? Or are you looking for a non-pharmaceutical alternative treatment?
Let us know in the comments!